Bush Visits Computer Chip-Maker to Promote Budget Plan

President Bush encouraged the virtues of fiscal responsibility Tuesday at a company that recently settled a class-action lawsuit alleging it had engaged in price-fixing and violated antitrust laws.

Bush went to computer chip-maker Micron Technology Inc. to talk about the $2.9 trillion budget he unveiled a day earlier. His spending plan gives the Pentagon a record $50 billion budget hike but squeezes programs backed by Democrats, including health research and heating subsidies for the poor.

Bush said his plan would lead to a balanced budget in five years after soaring deficits.

He said Congress needs to set priorities in spending taxpayer money.

"The temptation in Washington is to spend your money on everything that sounds good," Bush said. "That's not how you run your family budget. That's not how this company runs its company budget and that's certainly not how the government ought not to run its budget."

Click here to view the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2008.

Micron Technology, based in Boise, Idaho, settled a class action lawsuit last month that was filed in 2002 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on behalf of customers, generally computer manufacturers and others, who bought dynamic random-access memory chips, or DRAM, directly from suppliers between April 1, 1999, and June 30, 2002.

The lawsuit is one of several filed following a U.S. Justice Department investigation into whether computer chip companies conspired to manipulate the number of DRAM chips released to market in a scheme to inflate prices. The investigation resulted in more than $730 million in fines and guilty pleas from four companies — Samsung Electronics Co., Elpida Memory Inc., Infineon Technologies AG and Hynix Semiconductor Inc.

The Justice Department granted Micron immunity from criminal charges in exchange for its cooperation. However, the amnesty did not shield the company from lawsuits.

Steven Appleton, chief executive officer of Micron Technology gave $2,000 to Bush and $15,000 to the Republican National Committee during Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.

The company has a manufacturing facility in Manassas.

Click here to view the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2008.